Data tables must have description

Definition Some data tables must have an accessible description (e.g. summary) of contents of the table.
Purpose
  • Complex data tables are defined as tables with row and/or column spans, or more than one header cell (e.g. th element) in any row or column of the table.
  • An accessible description providing a summary of the organization of the table or numerical values reduces the time for users of assistive technology to explore and understand the content of a table.
  • An accessible description that includes a synopsis of the authors intended conclusions of viewing the content of a table make it easier for people using assistive technologies to understand importance of why the author provided the data table.
Required No for HTML4 Legacy Techniques ruleset mapping
WCAG 2.0 Success Criteria

1.3.1 Info and Relationships (Level A, Primary Success Criterion)

Rule Category Tables
Scope Element
Target Resources table[summary], table[title] or aria-describedby attribute
  • table
Techniques
  • Use the summary attribute to provide a accessible description of the information in a data table.
  • Use the title attribute to provide a accessible description of the information in a data table.
  • Use the aria-describedby attribute to provide a reference to an accessible description of the information in a data table.
Manual Checks
  • Verify the content of the accessible description accurately summarizes the organization, numerical information in the table or authors intended conclusions from viewing the table.
Informational Links